the Mundane Facts

Mundane Fact #1:  Flamingos and Owls are not compatible.

I must have slept like a flamingo last night as I have not been able to turn my head to the right without feeling an odd tugging sensation by my shoulder. It is just unpleasant enough that I won't mind when it sorts itself out, but it is also not so unpleasant as to keep me from repeatedly trying to turn my head to the right and pretending I'm an old arthritic owl who can no longer enjoy 270° head rotation.

Mundane Fact #2:  An air popper is as acceptable as a hairdryer.

In order to best prepare for movie nights on a semi-vacation, popcorn, seasonings, and [of course] a popcorn popper [which, in my fingers' current state (typing with the dexterity of squashed penguin sausages), I just typed as a "popcorn pooper" (which almost {not really} still makes sense)] were hauled cross-country amidst the rest of our not-entirely-necessary belongings. Happily, we have made good use of it all and have enjoyed a couple relaxing movie nights eating tastily seasoned popcorn. What we did not think of prior, however, was whether a popcorn popper [dangit, I just typed... Well. You know.] would be too noisy for a hotel room late at night. What with the whirring and blooshing and popping and, of course, the squeaks and squeals coming from me every time an unpopped kernel ricocheted out of the bowl, it is a decently noisy event. We decided to risk it, and lo and behold, we received zero angry phone calls. Whew. The conclusion that we came to was that, realistically, the popper was really only as noisy as the hotel-supplied hairdryer. And who can complain about drying hairs? So... Success!

Mundane Fact #3:  Home is where the heart and laptop/internet are.

Working from home has its perks, prime among them being the ability to work from home [it makes sense]. Working from home also has its slight drawbacks:  Work can go wherever there's an internet connection. During our 2 weeks of Wyoming math conferencing, pretending to be vacationing, and ice-cream-ing it up, I have had to work normal old work hours, get this, as if I were at home. It is nearly criminal, I tell you. I really cannot complain, though. The advantages far outweigh the hours of work. I had an immensely fun 26-hour car ride filled with so many different stories and sights [and we get to do it again in a couple of days!]. I had an absolutely terrific [and utterly exhausting] day of exploration at Laramie's Turtle Rock. And, most importantly, Jason and I get to continue our 1,873 day streak of never, ever having to be apart. I know it may be silly, but this is a big deal. I have such a good life. Anyway, so I have been working away while Jason has been mathing, and because Jesus loves me [or due to the change in time zone (Mountain Time isn't a real time zone) and, thus, the change in what hours I'm working] I have had pretty easy-going work weeks while here. Productivity for the win.

Home away from home.

Mundane Fact #4:  Life in a snow globe is incredibly humbling.

Wyoming isn't terribly flat as one might suppose. But at the same time, it has a really neat feeling of openness that often gives you a feeling of flat lands. You can see mountain ranges all across the horizon, the sun sets in [I'm fairly certain] all directions, and [at least in Laramie] the cities are all short enough to keep up the feeling of open lands everywhere you look. I find it a gorgeous change of scenery for 2 weeks. When I go outside and look around, I like to imagine I am a tiny little Korean in the middle of a gigantic and insanely detailed snow globe. You can see exactly where the sky meets the land no matter what direction you look. When you look up, you know you can see the arching glass of the globe way, way, way above you [the Maker of the snow globe tries to distract you from seeing it by putting perpetually changing clouds (tiny penguin! horse head! t-rex making a bed!) all around, and it works swimmingly, I tell you]. I am always waiting to feel someone shaking my little snow globe of a world. I just want to frolic in the snow! But sigh, it is now officially summer, so I suppose that is not realistic. That aside, however, I have found the environment of this part of the country exhilarating. Its snow-globe-ish feel is refreshing. I find myself constantly in awe of the most ordinary things. This trip has been a lovely reminder of the ridiculous amounts of beauty and awesome that we live in. [Just so your senses don't get overwhelmed by it all, Wyoming kindly puts in over-filled trailer parks to keep your feet grounded in reality.] I love snow globe life.

Waiting for the snow.

In a couple of days, we will start our trip back to Delaware. While we have gone through the Books We Read Aloud a bit faster than I thought, I think we'll have just enough to get us the 26 hours home, plus the Books We Listen To have plenty of hours left. And for the sleepy times, I don't think we'll ever run out of the Music We Play Really Loud since we literally brought along our 200 Perfectly Alphabetized CD collection. We are such good travelers. :)

Until next time!

This is what it feels/looks like being Asian in Wyoming.


the equality state

Well, we made it to Wyoming. It was quite a long drive, but it was actually pretty enjoyable. We seem to be pretty good roadtrippers. We listened to a lot of book on tape (only 1 book, but a lot of hours in it), Sharayah read a few books out loud (including Hank the Cowdog! Sharayah's Drover voice is great, though he seems sadder than I remember), and we rocked out to good music whenever we felt sleepy. Our little room has a nice view that gets a beautiful sunset each night, and we get breakfast in bed each morning (although I have to go get it from the lobby and bring it back, it's still very nice).

I was surprised to find out that the elevation of Laramie is over 7000 feet. By the way, if you find yourself in such a city, be careful when you open liquids that were originally closed in Delaware (average elevation 60 ft). Even at the local Walmart, everything that's sealed is puffy. You can tell none of it came from here. We got some hand sanitizer and somehow forgot what happens, and... well, my car is very sanitary now.

I was also surprised to learn that Wyoming is The Equality State. They named it a long time ago. As a certain little Korean noted, "I don't think 0.8% is equality." Apparently only 0.8% of the population is Asian here. This state is over 90% white. Maybe that's what they meant by equality? I still think it's silly that they even track such things, but it's a little funny.

The conference has been pretty interesting so far. It's a little tiring sitting and listening and trying to learn new things for so many hours a day (I was about to ask how we used to do it in high school, but then I remembered that you don't learn anything in high school...), but the talks have been good so far. It's a little funny putting 60 or 70 math people in a room and watching them interact. I can make fun of us because I am one of us. Most of us just aren't experts at being social, but then we all have a similar interest so we all try to talk to each other about it. Actually there are enough people who are good enough at it to carry the conversations and avoid awkwardness, but if we weeded out those 10%, man. That would be something.

Perhaps I will give more updates as it goes.


life in review

In lieu of actually writing anything of worth since my brain is feeling a rare sense of abnormally normal [read: boring] thoughts, here is a list of blog topics that I meant to touch on [or may touch on in the future] at some point but that I may just end up forgetting the context for since I find it's more entertaining to jot down a couple words as a reminder instead of elaborating in a more informative sentence. Following? Good. Let's bullet-point it!

  • Potatoes. [There's a keeper, eh?]
  • Fiery furnace. [Biblical reference maybe?]
  • Heaven. [For a topic as potentially expansive as "heaven," I did not help myself out much here.]
  • You make that choice. [Ooh, this one sounds interesting. However, all that is coming to mind is a picture of Uncle Sam when I read this possible blogging topic... or maybe Smokey Bear? Sigh.]
  • Good-looking actors. [Perhaps this was in reference to Jason's infamous, "Well, <name of some other actor> is no Brad Pitt" declaration?]
  • Love doesn't always feel like "happiness." [Boom.]
  • P as in Peter. [I know this definitely did not have anything to do with Peter Pan or Peter Rabbit... but otherwise, I've got nothing. Ishk.]
  • Am I pretty? A study. [...]

I really wish my brain would print out an invoice of Today's Thoughts. It would entertain me and be oh so helpful.

Another cop-out device for blogging is just posting pictures of things instead of writing about them [unless it is a picture blog, in which case I guess writing instead of posting pictures would be the easy way out?]. So, I will now cover all of our current going-ons with a picture from anything that I consider note-worthy. Follow along, please.

Firstly, progress report on Mario and Luigi. [Yes, yes, this is most definitely note-worthy! We live simple lives with simple joys.] This is their growth through the Month of May. Luigi has sprouted upward at an incredible rate whilst Mario continues his fated horizontal journey. They're fulfilling their destinies!

June trees make May trees look pathetic and sad.
Ever want to see an upside-down Jason in a water droplet? The moment is now.

A little visitor: Mr. Fluffy Pants

On a related note, we are also attempting to make a pepper plant from pepper seeds. As we are not gardeners by any stretch of the imagination, our fingers are crossed. Frustratingly, however, some random cat has decided to make our planters his litter box. I am pretty sure he is a buddy of Panther's who has been roped into making our lives even more cat-poop-filled; a very devious conspiracy created in the deep bowels [pun?] of Panther's vengeful soul. Waking up to cat grossness inside and outside of our home is getting old fast. Though we cannot easily fix Panther's problems, we have managed to maybe cat-proof our outdoor plants with the addition of river rocks [for our trees] and plastic bags [for our sprouting pepper seedlings (until we can river rock them to safety)].

We finally got around to sorting and alphabetizing our CD collection. Despite the sadness brought on by Jason's copy of a CD outing my copy when we had doubles [I love you, Jason], it was a project that brought much satisfaction. Also, fun fact:  Splitting the alphabet in half, our musics amazingly divided in half as well, with a margin of maybe +/- 5 albums. Weird, right?

As Jason wrote about in our last post, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary last month. Five years is a long time, which is pretty cool. I was transported to Lancaster, PA, where we did all sorts of lazy exploring. Jason ate a Whoopie Pie. We admired long johns hanging on clotheslines. Jason ate some Shoo Fly Pie. We pointed out each horse and buggy as if it was the first horse and buggy we had ever seen. Jason ate 4 different kinds of pretzels. We contemplated becoming Amish and participating in Sunday volleyball tournaments. Jason ate chickens and fries and ice cream and 2 pieces of popcorn. It was a good trip. I found it oddly pleasing that my desire to live an Amish-like life wasn't just a childhood whim but something that still held quite an appeal to me even now at the ripe old age of 27*.

And then of course, there was the California Hitching. Flights were flown, bridges were seen, clothes were worn, and food was consumed. In the end, there was [poof!] another Vermette.

There was him. There was her.
There were also these guys.
Marriage x2!

Lastly, I suppose I should re-mention the fact that we are tripping to Wyoming. Lots of driving. New sights. Some math conferencing. We need to start making a packing list or our trip will just be one big, "How in the world did we forget to bring that on a 2-week long semi-vacation in the middle of nowhere?!" However, since this is an event that has not yet occurred, I do not have any accompanying picture. This breaks the pattern of this entire post. This is unacceptable. Nearly illogical. So here is a picture from the past that has nothing to do with Wyoming but has everything to do with life. And such.

Jason doesn't let me play with candles anymore. I feel a little conned now that I think about it.
And that is it for now. I actually did some writing and not just picturing, lo and behold. Success. Anyway, it is relieving indeed to finally have everything caught up to the present. Life may now go back to its regularly scheduled programming. We will continue to DVR it for your viewing pleasure.

You know you enjoy it.

*I am old now. With my birthday month upon me [yes, Jason gets to celebrate the birth of me all month long], I am pretty sure I can feel my bones creaking. It is sobering.